The Two-Way Dual Language programs teach students to speak, read, write, listen, and comprehend in two languages, English and Spanish.
Two-Way Dual Language instruction is currently offered at 64 Dallas ISD elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high school.
Over the course of a day in a two-way dual language classroom, instruction is provided in Spanish and English. Certain subjects (such as Science) are taught in Spanish and other subjects (such as Math) are taught in English. Students who first language is English and students that are learning English work together in Bilingual Pairs in order to learn from each other’s language strengths. The classrooms aim to have a fairly even split of students who speak English and are learning to speak English.
“These students can think like a scientist in Spanish, then turn around and solve a complicated math problem in English: it just blows you out of the water to watch,” said Cloris Rangel, the Dallas ISD Director of Dual Language Programs. “Being bilingual and biliterate gives these students a huge leg up not just in school, but in their lives well beyond graduation.”
Parent Rhonda Edmundson whose twins have attended a dual language program since early childhood said the program has helped her daughters become more academically competitive, socially confident and prepared to participate in a world of additional languages and cultures.
“Having our girls involved in the two-way dual-language program was a no-brainer,” Edmundson said. “When I think about their future jobs and their future opportunities, we live in a global world and I don’t want to tie them to Texas for the rest of their lives. But, if they should stay here, their Spanish abilities will help them right here at home as well. We live in a global society, and language is really the key to unlocking business opportunities.”
Students can enroll in the program in pre-K through first grade, and the program extends through elementary as students advance, promoting their development in their first and second language.
Students can continue their dual language education at the secondary level in grades six through 12. To qualify for the secondary dual language program, students must have participated in an elementary dual language program and/or be able to demonstrate fluency in Spanish.
Families interested in a Two-Way Dual Language school can learn more about it by attending Discover Dallas ISD, Saturday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at W. H. Adamson High School.